Last Friday and Saturday, I got to do one of my very favorite things. My husband and I spent two beautiful autumn days together, riding our bicycles in Michigan. The trees’ changing colors were magnificent. The leaves made a glorious rustling sound beneath our bike tires. We rode twenty miles each day along wooded trails, through a patchwork of farm land, and out to a lighthouse on Lake Michigan where the wind blew the indigo water into restless waves. We stopped to eat freshly-picked apples that were crunchy and sweet. The air smelled of leaves and sunshine and bonfires.
Each time the seasons change, I think of God’s promise after the flood:
In other words, life brings change. I should be used to it by now—yet I resist.
Fall used to be my favorite time of year. Then I lived in Canada for eleven years where the season lasted only two weeks—maybe three, if we were lucky. My children thought that going trick-or-treating in the snow was normal. As soon as I saw the leaves begin to change I would panic, knowing that the long, long winter and minus 40 degree temperatures would quickly follow. Maybe that’s why I’ve felt a bit panicked lately when I look in the mirror and realize that I’ve entered the fall season of my life. How many more years will I enjoy riding my bicycle? And more importantly, how many more productive writing years will I have?
Shortly before our weekend biking trip, I read this comforting scripture from Psalm 92: “The righteous . . . will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green…” What a glorious promise! I can savor this time in my life just as I savored the sights and sounds and smells on our autumn biking trip, knowing that my fruit-bearing years are far from over. This season of my life can have a special beauty all its own.
And as if to prove it, my husband and I arrived home—tired but happy, bearing piles of sweaty clothes, sneakers full of sand, and several baskets of apples—and there in the mailbox was the first copy of my newest book. It begins another change for me—this is my very first non-fiction book. It’s called Pilgrimage; My Journey to a Deeper Faith in the Land Where Jesus Walked. Ironically, the book chronicles some of the changes in my life, and tells about the lessons I’ve learned through those changes.
We live in the American Midwest now, and I no longer panic when I see the leaves changing colors. I know that the season will last much longer than two weeks. I may even get a chance to ride my bicycle in shorts in the middle of October. And if my newest book is any proof, even in the autumn of my life, God promises to make me fruitful.